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And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,1
Nestor-like aged, in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
These eyes,-like lamps whose wasting oil is Finding his usurpation most unjust,
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent:2
Weak shoulders, overborne with burd'ning
And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine,
That droops his sapless branches to the ground.-I
Yet are these feet-whose strengthless stay is For by my mother I derived am
Unable to support this lump of clay,—
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,
As witting I no other comfort have.-
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
1 Keep. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come:
We sent unto the Temple, to his charnber;
And answer was return'd, that he will come.
Endeavour'd my advancement to the throne: The reason mov'd these warlike lords to this, grief;Was-for that (young king Richard thus remov'd, Leaving no heir begotten of his body,) was the next by birth and parentage.;
Mor. Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied.
Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign
(Before whose glory I was great in arms,)
This loathsome sequestration have I had;
And even since then hath Richard been obscur'd,
Depriv'd of honour and inheritance:
But now the arbitrator of despairs,
Just death, kind umpire3 of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence;
I would, his troubles likewise were expir'd,
That so he might recover what was lost.
Enter Richard Plantagenet.
1 Keep. My lord, your loving nephew now is
Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend? Is he come?
Plan. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly us'd,
Your nephew, late-despised4 Richard, comes.
Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck,||
And in his bosom spend my latter gasp:
O, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks,
That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.-
And now declare, sweet stem from York's great
Why didst thou say-of late thou wert despis'd?
Plan. First, lean thine aged back against mine
And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease.5
This day, in argument upon a case,
Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me:
Among which terms he used his lavish tongue,
And did upbraid me with my father's death;
Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
Else with the like I had requited him:
Therefore, good uncle,-for my father's sake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet,
And for alliance' sake,-declare the cause
My father, earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
Mor. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'dme,
And hath detain'd me, all my flow'ring youth,
Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
Was cursed instrument of his decease.
The first-begotten, and the lawful heir
Of Edward king, the third of that descent:
During whose reign, the Percies of the north,
For I am ignorant, and cannot guess.
Mor. I will; if that my fading breath permit, And death approach not ere my tale be done. Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king, Depos'd his nephew Richard; Edward's son,
From Lionel duke of larence, the third son
To king Edward the Third; whereas he,
From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
Being but fourth of that heroic line.
But mark; as, in this haughty great attempt,
They laboured to plant the rightful heir,
I lost my liberty, and they their lives.
Long after this, when Henry the Fifth,-
Succeeding his father Bolingbroke,-did reign,
Thy father, earl of Cambridge, then deriv'd
From famous Edmund Langley, duke of York,-
Marrying my sister, that thy mother was,
Again, in pity of my hard distress,
Levied an army; weening? to redeem,
And have install'd me in the diadem:
But, as the rest, so fell that noble earl,
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the title rested, were suppress'd.
Plan. Of which, my lord, your honour is the last.
Mor. True; and thou seest, that I no issue have;
And that my fainting words do warrant death:
Thou art my heir; the rest, I wish thee gather:
But yet be wary in thy studious care.
Plan. Thy grave admonishments prevail with me:
But yet, methinks, my father's execution
Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.
Mor. With silence, nephew, be thou politic;
Strong-fixed is the house of Lancaster,
And, like a mountain, not to be remov'd.
But now thy uncle is removing hence;
As princes do their courts, when they are cloy'd
With long continuance in a settled place.
Plan. O, uncle, 'would some part of my young
Might but redeem the passage of your age!
Mor. Thou dost then wrong me; as the slaugh-
Which giveth many wounds, when one will kill.
Mourn not, except thou sorrow for my good;
Only, give order for my funeral;
And so farewell; and fairs be all thy hopes!
And prosperous be thy life, in peace, and war!
Plan. And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul!
In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage,
And like a hermit overpass'd thy days.-
Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast;
And what I do imagine, let that rest.-
Keepers, convey him hence; and I myself
Will see his burial better than his life.-
[Exeunt Keepers, bearing out Mortimer. Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
Plan. Discover more at large what cause that Chok'd with ambition of the meaner sort:→
And, for those wrongs, those bitter injuries,
Which Somerset hath offer'd to my house,-
I doubt not, but with honour to redress:
And therefore haste I to the parliament;
Either to be restored to my blood,
Or make my ill9 the advantage of my good. [Exit.
(1) The heralds that, fore-running death, proclaim its approach. (2) End.
(3) i. e. He who terminates or concludes misery. (9) My ill, is my ill usage.
(4) Lately-despised. (5) Uneasiness, discontent.
(6) High. (7) Thinking.
(8) Lucky, prosperous.
SCENE I.-The same. The Parliament-House. Flourish. Enter King Henry, Exeter, Gloster, Warwick, Somerset, and Suffolk; the Bishop of Winchester, Richard Plantagenet, and others. Gloster offers to put up a bill; Winchester snatches it, and tears it.
Win. Com'st thou with deep premeditated lines, With written pamphlets studiously devis'd, Humphrey of Gloster? if thou canst accuse, Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge, Do it without invention suddenly; As I with sudden and extemporal speech Purpose to answer what thou canst object. Glo. Presumptuous priest! this place commands my patience,
Or thou should'st find thou hast dishonour'd me.
Think not, although in writing I preferr'd
The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
That therefore I have forg'd, or am not able
Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen:
No, prelate; such is thy audacious wickedness,
Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious pranks,
As very infants prattle of thy pride.
Thou art a most pernicious usurer;
Froward by nature, enemy to peace;
Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
A man of thy profession, and degree;
And for thy treachery, What's more manifest;
In that thou laid'st a trap to take my life,
As well at London-bridge, as at the Tower?
Besides, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
The king, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
Win. Gloster, I do defy thee.-Lords, vouchsafe
To give me hearing what I shall reply.
If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse,
As he will have me, How am I so poor?
Or how haps it, I seek not to advance
Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling?
And for dissension, Who preterreth peace
More than I do,-except I be provok'd?
No, my good lords, it is not that offends;
It is not that, that hath incens'd the duke:
It is, because no one should sway but he;
No one, but he, should be about the king;
And that engenders thunder in his breast,
And makes him roar these accusations forth.
But he shall know, I am as good
Thou bastard of my grandfather!-
Win. Ay, lordly sir; For what are you, I pray,
But one imperious in another's throne?
Glo. Am I not the protector, saucy priest?
Win. And am I not a prelate of the church?
Glo. Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps,
And useth it to patronage his theft.
Win. Unreverent Gloster!
Thou art reverent
Touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
Win. This Rome shall remedy.
Roam thither then.
Som. My lord, it were your duty to forbear.
War. Ay, see the bishop be not overborne.
Som. Methinks, my lord should be religious,
And know the office that belongs to such.
War. Methinks, his lordship should be humbler;
It fitteth not a prelate so to plead.
Som. Yes, when his holy state is touch'd so
War. State holy, or unhallow'd, what of that? Is not his grace protector to the king?
Lest it be said, Speak, sirrah, when you should; Plan. Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue; Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords? Else would I have a fling at Winchester. [Aside.
K. Hen. Uncles of Gloster, and of Winchester, The special watchmen of our English weal; I would prevail, if prayers might prevail, To join your hearts in love and amity. O, what a scandal is it our crown, That two such noble peers as ye, should jar! Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell, Civil dissension is a viperous worm, That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.[A noise within; Down with the tawny coats! What tumult's this?
(1) i. e. Articles of accusation. Unseemly, indecent.
An uproar, I dare warrant, Begun through malice of the bishop's men. [A noise again; Stones! stones! Enter the Mayor of London, attended. May. O, my good lords, and virtuous Henry,-Pity the city of London, pity us! The bishop and the duke of Gloster's men, Forbidden late to carry any weapon, Have fill'd their pockets full of pebble-stones; And, banding themselves in contráry parts, Do pelt so fast at one another's pate, That many have their giddy brains knock'd out: Our windows are broke down in every street, And we, for fear, compell'd to shut our shops.
Enter, skirmishing, the retainers of Gloster and Winchester, with bloody pates.
K. Hen. We charge you, on allegiance to ourself, To hold your slaught'ring hands, and keep the peace. Pray, uncle Gloster, mitigate this strife.
1 Serv. Nay, if we be
Forbidden stones, we'll fall to it with our teeth. 2 Serv. Do what ye dare, we are as resolute. [Skirmish again. Glo. You of my household, leave this peevish broil,
And set this unaccustom'd2 fight aside.
3 Serv. My lord, we know your grace to be a man Just and upright; and, for your royal birth, Inferior to none, but his majesty: And ere that we will suffer such a prince, So kind a father of the commonweal, To be disgraced by an inkhorn mate,3 We, and our wives, and children, all will fight, And have our bodies slaughter'd by thy foes. 1 Serv. Ay, and the very parings of our nails Shall pitch a field, when we are dead.
[Skirmish again. Glo. Stay, stay, I say! And, if you love me, as you say you do, Let me persuade you to forbear a while.
K. Hen. O, how this discord doth afflict my
Can you, my lord of Winchester, behold
My sighs and tears, and will not once relent?
Who should be pitiful, if you be not?
Or who should study to prefer a peace,
If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
War. My lord protector, yield;-yield, Win-
Except you mean, with obstinate repulse,
To slay your sovereign, and destroy the realm.
You see what mischief, and what murder too,
(3) This was a term of reproach towards men of learning.
Hath been enacted through your enmity;
Then be at peace, except ye thirst for blood.
Win He shall submit, or I will never yield.
Glo. Compassion on the king commands me stoop;
Or, I would see his heart out, ere the priest
Should ever get that privilege of me.
War. Behold, my lord of Winchester, the duke
Hath banish'd moody discontented fury,
As by his smoothed brows it doth appear:
Why look you still so stern, and tragical?
Glo. Here, Winchester, I offer thee my
K. Hen Fie, uncle Beaufort! I have heard you
That malice was a great and grievous sin :
And will not you maintain the thing you teach,
But prove a chief offender in the same?
War. Sweet king!-the bishop hath a kindly
For shame, my lord of Winchester! relent;
What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
Win. Well, duke of Gloster, I will yield to thee;
Love for thy love, and hand for hand, I give.
Glo. Ay but, I fear me, with a hollow heart.
See here, my friends, and loving countrymen;
This token serveth for a flag of truce,
Betwixt ourselves, and all our followers:
So help me God, as I dissemble not!
Win. So help me God, as I intend it not!
K. Hen. O loving uncle, kind duke of Gloster, How joyful am I made by this contract!Away, my masters! trouble us no more; But join in friendship, as your lords have done. 1 Serv. Content; I'll to the surgeon's. 2 Serv. And so will I. 3 Serv. And I will see what physic the tavern affords. [Exeunt Servants, Mayor, &c. War. Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign; Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet We do exhibit to your majesty.
Glo Well urg'd, my lord of Warwick; for, sweet
An if your grace mark every circumstance,
You have great reason to do Richard right;
Especially, for those occasions.
Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is,
That Richard be restored to his blood.
War. Let Richard be restored to his blood;
So shall his father's wrongs be recompens'd.
Win. As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
K. Hen. If Richard will be true, not that alone,
But all the whole inheritance I give,
That doth belong unto the house of York,
From whence you spring by lineal descent.
Plan. Thy humble servant vows obedience,
And humble service, till the point of death.
At Eltham-place I told your majesty.
Guard. [Within.] Qui est là?
Puc Paisans, pauvres gens de France:
K. Hen And those occasions, uncle, were of Poor market-folks, that come to sell their corn.
Guard. Enter, go in; the market-bell is rung.
[Opens the gates.
Puc. Now, Roüen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to
the ground. [Pucelle, &c. enter the city.
Enter Charles, Bastard of Orleans, Alençon, and
Som. Perish, base prince, ignoble duke of York! [Aside.
And as my duty springs, so perish they
That grudge one thought against your majesty!
All. Welcome, high prince, the mighty duke of
(1) Feels an emotion of kind remorse.
Glo. Now it will best avail your majesty,
To cross the seas, and to be crown'd in France:
presence of a king engenders love
Amongst his subjects, and his loyal friends;
As it disanimates his enemies.
K. Hen. When Gloster says the word, king Hen-
For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
Glo. Your ships already are in readiness.
[Exeunt all but Exeter.
Exe. Ay, we may march in England or in
Not seeing what is likely to ensue :
This late dissension grown betwixt the peers,
Burns under feigned ashes of forg'd love,
And will at last break out into a flame :
As fester'd members rot but by degrees,
Till bones, and flesh, and sinews, fall away,
So will this base and envious discord breed.
And now I fear that fatal prophecy,
Which, in the time of Henry, nam'd the Fifth,
Was in the mouth of every sucking babe,-
That Henry, born at Monmouth, should win all;
And Henry, born at Windsor, should lose all :
Which is so plain, that Exeter doth wish
His days may finish ere that hapless time. [Exit.
SCENE II-France. Before Roüen. Enter
La Pucelle disguised, and Soldiers dressed like
countrymen, with sacks upon their backs.
Puc. These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen,
Through which our policy must make a breach :
Take heed, be wary how you place your words;
Talk like the vulgar sort of market-men,
That come to gather money for their corn.
If we have entrance (as I hope we shall,)
And that we find the slothful watch but weak,
I'll by a sign give notice to our friends,
That Charles the dauphin may encounter them.
1 Sold. Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city, And we be lords and rulers over Roüen; Therefore we'll knock.
Char. Now shine it like a comet of revenge, A prophet to the fall of all our foes!
Alen. Defer no time, Delays have dangerous ends;
Enter, and cry-The Dauphin!-presently,
And then do execution on the watch. [They enter.
Alarums. Enter Talbot, and certain English.
Tal. France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy
If Talbot but survive thy treachery.-
Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress,
Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares,
That hardly we escap'd the pridel of France.
[Exeunt to the town.
Alarum: Excursions. Enter from the town,
Bedford, brought in sick, in a chair, with Tal-
bot, Burgundy, and the English forces. Then,
enter on the walls, La Pucelle, Charles, Bastard,
Alençon, and others.
Puc. Good morrow, gallants! want ye corn for And now no more ado, brave Burgundy,
But gather we our forces out of hand,
And set upon our boasting enemy.
I think, the duke of Burgundy will fast
Before he'll buy again at such a rate:
'Twas full of darnel; Do you like the taste?
Bur. Scoff on, vile fiend, and shameless court
Puc. Belike, your lordship takes us then for fools,
To try if that our own be ours, or no.
Tal. I speak not to that railing Hecaté,
But unto thee, Alençon, and the rest:
Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?
Alen. Signior, no.
Tal. Signior, hang!-base muleteers of France!
Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls,
And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.
Puc. Captains, away: let's get us from the walls;
For Talbot means no goodness, by his looks.-
God be wi' you, my lord! we came, sir, but to tell
That we are here.
[Exeunt La Pucelle, &c. from the walls. Tal. And there will we be too, ere it be long, Or else reproach be Talbot's greatest fame!— Vow, Burgundy, by honour of thy house (Prick'd on by public wrongs, sustain'd in France,) Either to get the town again, or die: And I,- -as sure as English Henry lives,
(1) Haughty power.
And as his father here was conqueror;
As sure as in this late betrayed town
Great Coeur-de-lion's heart was buried;
So sure I swear to get the town, or die.
Bur. My vows are equal partners with thy vows.
Tal. But, ere we go, regard this dying prince,
The valiant duke of Bedford :-Come, my lord,
We will bestow you in some better place,
Fitter for sickness, and for crazy age.
Bed. Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me:
Here will I sit before the walls of Rouen,
And will be partner of your weal, or wo.
Bur. Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade
Bed. Not to be gone from hence; for once I read
That stout Pendragon, in his litter, sick,
Came to the field, and vanquished his foes:
Methinks, I should revive the soldiers' hearts,
Because I ever found them as myself.
Tal. Undaunted spirit in a dying breast!-
Then be it so:-Heavens keep old Bedford safe!-
Tal. Foul fiend of France, and hag of all despite,
Encompass'd with thy lustful paramours!
Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age,
And twit with cowardice a man half dead?
Damsel, I'll have a bout with you again,
Or else let Talbot perish with this shame.
Bed. Now, quiet soul, depart when heaven please;
If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.-
[Talbot, and the rest, consult together.
God speed the parliament! who shall be the speaker?
Tal. Dare ye come forth, and meet us in the
Puc. Are you so hot, sir?-Yet, Pucelle, hold For I have seen our enemies' overthrow.
What is the trust or strength of foolish man?
They, that of late were daring with their scoffs,
Are glad and fain by flight to save themselves.
[Dies, and is carried off in his chair.
Alarum: Enter Talbot, Burgundy, and others.
Tal. Lost, and recover'd in a day again!
This is a double honour, Burgundy:
Yet, heavens have glory for this victory!
Bur. Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy
Enshrines thee in his heart; and there erects
Thy noble deeds, as valour's monument.
Tal. Thanks, gentle duke. But where is Pucelle now?
[Exeunt Burgundy, Talbot, and forces, leaving Bedford, and others. Alarum: Excursions. Enter Sir John Fastolfe, and a Captain.
Capt. Whither away, sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?
Fast. Whither away? to save myself by flight; We are like to have the overthrow again.
Capt. What! will you fly, and leave lord Talbot? Fast. Ay, All the Talbots in the world to save my life. [Exit. Capt. Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee! [Exit. Retreat: Excursions. Enter from the town, La Pucelle, Alençon, Charles, &c.; and exeunt, flying.
A braver soldier never couched lance,
A gentler heart did never sway in court:
But kings, and mightiest potentates, must die;
For that's the end of human misery. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-The same. The plains near the
city. Enter Charles, the Bastard, Alençon, La
Pucelle, and forces.
Return thee, therefore, with a flood of tears,
And wash away thy country's stained spots!
Bur. Either she hath bewitch'd me with her
Or nature makes me suddenly relent.
Puc. Besides, all French and France exclaims
Doubting thy birth and lawful progeny.
Who join'st thou with, but with a lordly nation,
That will not trust thee, but for profit's sake?
When Talbot hath set footing once in France,
And fashion'd thee that instrument of ill,
Who then, but English Henry, will be lord,
And thou be thrust out, like a fugitive?
Call we to mind,--and mark but this, for proof;-
Was not the duke of Orleans thy foe?
And was he not in England prisoner?
Puc. Then thus it must be; this doth Joan devise;
By fair persuasions, mix'd with sugar'd words,
We will entice the duke of Burgundy
To leave the Talbot, and to follow us.
Bast. Search out thy wit for secret policies,
And we will make thee famous through the world.
Alen. We'll set thy statue in some holy place,But, when they heard he was thine enemy,
And have thee reverenc'd like a blessed saint; They set him free, without his ransom paid,
Employ thee then, sweet virgin, for our good. In spite of Burgundy, and all his friends.
See then! thou fight'st against thy countrymen,
And join'st with them will be thy slaughter-men.
Come, come, return; return, thou wand'ring lord;
Charles, and the rest, will take thee in their arms.
Bur. I am vanquished; these haughty words of
Char. Ay, marry, sweeting, if we could do that,
France were no place for Henry's warriors;
Nor should that nation boast it so with us,
But be extirped1 from our provinces.
Have batter'd me like roaring cannon-shot,
And made me almost yield upon my knees.-
Alen. For ever should they be expuls'd2 from Forgive me, country, and sweet countrymen!
And, lords, accept this hearty kind embrace:
My forces and my power of men are yours;-
So, farewell, Talbot; I'll no longer trust thee.
Puc. Done like a Frenchman; turn, and turn
Char. Welcome, brave duke! thy friendship
makes us fresh.
Puc. Dismay not, princes, at this accident,
Nor grieve that Rouen is so recovered:
Care is no cure, but rather corrosive,
For things that are not to be remedied.
Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while,
And like a peacock sweep along his tail;
We'll pull his plumes, and take away his train,
If dauphin, and the rest, will be but rul'd.
Char. We have been guided by thee hitherto,
And of thy cunning had no diffidence;
One sudden foil shall never breed distrust.
And not have title to an earldom here.
Puc. Your honours shall perceive how I will work,
To bring this matter to the wished end.
[Drums heard. Hark! by the sound of drum, you may perceive Their powers are marching unto Paris-ward.
An English march. Enter, and pass over at a distance, Talbot and his forces.
There goes the Talbot, with his colours spread;
And all the troops of English after him.
Strike those that hurt, and hurt not those that help!
One drop of blood, drawn from thy country's bosom,
Should grieve thee more than streams of foreign
Bur. What say'st thou, Charles? for I am marching hence.
Char. Speak, Pucelle; and enchant him with thy words.
Puc. Brave Burgundy, undoubted hope of France!
Stay, let thy humble handmaid speak to thee.
Bur. Speak on; but be not over-tedious.
Puc. Look on thy country, look on fertile France,
And see the cities and the towns defac'd
By wasting ruin of the cruel foe!
As looks the mother on her lowly babe,
When death doth close his tender dying eyes,
See, see, the pining malady of France;
Behold the wounds, the most unnatural wounds,
Which thou thyself hast given her woful breast!
O, turn thy edged sword another way;
(1) Rooted out.
Bast. And doth beget new courage in our breasts. Alen. Pucelle hath bravely play'd her part in this, And doth deserve a coronet of gold.
Char. Now let us on, my lords, and join our
A French march. Enter the Duke of Burgundy
Now, in the rearward, comes the duke and his;
Fortune, in favour, makes him lag behind.
Summon a parley, we will talk with him.
[A parley sounded.
Char. A parley with the duke of Burgundy.
Bur. Who craves a parley with the Burgundy?
Puc. The princely Charles of France, thy coun-I have a while given truce unto my wars,
Hearing of your arrival in this realm,
And seek how we may prejudice the foe. [Exe.
SCENE IV-Paris. A room in the palace.
Enter King Henry, Gloster, and other Lords,
Vernon, Basset, &c. To them Talbot, and some
of his Officers.
Tal. My gracious prince, and honourable
To do my duty to my sovereign:
In sign whereof, this arm-that hath reclaim'd
To your obedience fifty fortresses,
Twelve cities, and seven walled towns of strength,
Besides five hundred prisoners of esteem,-
Lets fall his sword before your highness' feet;
And, with submissive loyalty of heart,
Ascribes the glory of his conquest got,
First to my God, and next unto your grace.
K. Hen. Is this the lord Talbot, uncle Gloster,
That hath so long been resident in France?
Glo. Yes, if it please your majesty, my liege.
K. Hen. Welcome, brave captain, and victorious
When I was young (as yet I am not old,)
I do remember how my father said,
A stouter champion never handled sword.